MALAPPURAM: Three people, including two children, died and 38 were missing when an entire hillock came down on a settlement at Kavalappara, Bhoodanam near Pothukallu, Nilambur, around 8.30 p.m. on Thursday. The entire village is buried under the soil.
According to the district administration, 36 houses were washed away in the landslide.
Forty-one members of 19 families who remained in the locality were feared to have been buried alive, the district administration said in a press release.
A huge quantity of soil was deposited over the settlement and not even the remnants of two-storeyed houses under the soil could be found. An area of one km is filled with soil. How many were trapped in the landslide is yet to be known. The rescue workers said that none of the families from the area had gone to the relief camps in nearby areas.
An NDRF team was conducting rescue operations which were delayed as there was only one JCB in the area. The hope to save the trapped was waning due to the delay. Though the police and revenue officials had asked the people to shift to relief camps, most of them refused to oblige.
According to Ibnu, a local resident, about 50 houses were buried under the soil.
Many were suspected to be stranded in an islet but rescue workers were unable to reach them. Only an airlifting was possible, he added.
The rescue operations were stopped evening due to bad weather.
Earlier, minor landslips had taken place in the area and 17 families had shifted to relief camps after the district administration issued a warning.
Meanwhile, the Puthumala area at Kalladi, near Meppadi, lies devastated following the landslip that struck on Thursday evening burying an entire stretch of land with its temple, mosque, estate canteen and labourers’ cottages under the soil.
The area, 8 km from Meppadi town, comes under the Sentinel Rock Estate of Harrison’s Estate Limited at Kalladi.
There were about 400 houses in the hamlet but only a few people are left in relief camps now, it is learnt. About 100 acres of land has been washed away.
Seven bodies, including that of a boy, were recovered by the rescue workers. Three bodies were shifted to the relief camp at Meppadi. The rescue efforts were led by 49 Army personnel and 20 from the NDMA. Amidst the heavy rain, moves were afoot to construct a new road to reach the spot with vehicles....